The ONE thing you should never do while breastfeeding
January 7, 2018
Now that I'm a mom myself I'm in a ton of Mom-focused Facebook groups here in Denver. Some of them do a really good job of weeding out shameless advertising from other moms and poor advice. Some of them do not.
So let me just clarify something really quick.
You should not, under any circumstances, do any sort of extreme-calorie restriction, or "detox" while you are breastfeeding.
I came across this question while scrolling through my feed:
"Question- one of my mom friends is selling **** and told me that her detox product is safe for breastfeeding? Can I do this? She also says that since my kid is over 6 months old they don't need breastmilk as much so it's okay for me to do her low-calorie diet plan. I'm really trying to drop the baby weight, would love advice. Thanks in advance!"
You can imagine my horror reading this.
A) JUST NO
I'm a certified fitness professional and I'm certified in postpartum nutrition, and even I can't legally "prescribe" a diet to anyone. So do you think it's safe to follow the diet plan of someone who has NO credentials and is only trying to push a weight loss product? Hmmmm.... probably not.
B) The World Health Organization encourages all mothers who can to breastfeed for TWO years. NOT six months.
C) An extreme diet will not only dry you up, it can severely affect your health. Postpartum women need MORE nutrition to help heal them from birth, NOT FEWER CALORIES. Sure, you can reduce the amount of processed foods, sugars, and cut out alcohol or caffeine. Honestly though, most of the time I work with new moms I find that they need more, not less. (And no, I don't mean adding supplements, nor do I ever push protein powders for most of my clients.) Please do not listen to anyone who tells you you should eat less. You need lots of nutrient-dense calories to produce milk and live a healthy life.
D) Most products promising a detox or extreme weight-loss are NOT regulated by the FDA. So, if you're breastfeeding, you're putting yourself at risk of contaminating your milk with a potentially dangerous substance. (Get the facts here.)
E) Rarely do we actually need to "detox". We have a liver and kidneys and they most often do this job just fine.
F) If you do want to "detox", do it naturally. Drink water, exercise, eat foods like beets and asparagus, and sleep.
Fortunately, this momma had a lot of supportive responses to her concerns, and she is not going to be taking any supplements while breastfeeding. Thank goodness. If you hear any of this garbage being spread in your mom-squad, please direct them to this post!